Comedy and media news: Not necessarily incompatible

If you enjoy jokes about journalism (the least promising introductory clause I've typed in some time), you probably get them on Twitter, where no one can speak too long and it's not hard to find an audience steeped in media news. A joke about The New York Times Styles section? A jape about Al Jazeera? 140 characters is way more room than you need.

But in the past couple of days, three pieces of media criticism hopped the microblogging fence and became actual, fleshed-out pieces that were legitimately funny. That seems worth pointing out -- even if doing so on a journalism-news site immediately strips at least 97 percent of the joy from them. They are:

The Onion, "SPONSORED: The Taliban Is A Vibrant And Thriving Political Movement" A parody of The Atlantic's Scientology-advertorial fiasco. "Additionally, the movement also remains a proud sponsor of a variety of international social and humanitarian initiatives related to poverty, illiteracy, and animal abuse."

The Daily Show, "Investigating Investigative Journalism" John Oliver looks at CNN's dismantling of its investigative journalism team: "Spending thousands of dollars on an investigation in Africa is way too expensive, especially when you're already spending thousands of dollars on vital reporting tools like hologram journalists." Bonus: A Will McAvoy cameo.


The Onion (again), "Internet Users Demand Less Interactivity": "'All I want is to go to a website, enjoy it for the time I’ve decided to spend there, and then move on with my life,' he continued. 'Is that so much to ask?' "

Clearly, we're entering a golden age of media criticism giggles. Or maybe we just left one.

  • Andrew Beaujon

    Andrew Beaujon reported on the media for Poynter from 2012 to 2015. He was previously arts editor at and managing editor of Washington City Paper. He's the author of the 2006 book "Body Piercing Saved My Life," about Christian rock and evangelical Christian culture.


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